Mice Don't Talk Or Do They?
Chapter Five: Mice Don't Talk…Or Do They?
The gate burst open from the stables and out raced the guards. The image of my crying sister stayed burned in my head, but Kingslee's heart was not as easily broken as mine was. She kept on pounding forward towards the forest, probably mad at me for making her wait. I was glad that she knew our mission because had it been just me I would have ran back to the castle to embrace my crying sister.
I couldn't hold onto that thought for much longer because I was soon being chased by all of the guards that had just broken loose. I soon realized what the beginning of "life on the run" was going to be like.
"C'mon Kingslee," I whispered to the horse as she raced through the city," C'mon girl."
She kept on pounding hard toward the same tree line that Caspian had escaped from the night before. I still heard the men gaining on me, fast.
"Do not let her get away!" one of the men yelled; I recognized the voice: Glozelle," Rosalie, stop now!"
I thought that, perhaps, if it were one of the other generals then I might not be in trouble as quickly if I were caught, but since it was Glozelle on my case…well I would get a scolding from him almost as bad as my father.
Getting caught was not an option. I had to push that out of my head as well.
The sound of his voice pushed me to push Kingslee harder. She ran and ran until we finally reached the end of the city and the forest was upon us. The forest was very dark and I could barely see anything in front of me or around me. It would have been nice if I could pull out the lantern, but that was impossible for me to do while keeping my balance on this speeding horse.
What if we were about to run into a tree and spoil the whole plan? What if they were closer than we thought, but we didn't know because of the darkness?
Trust Kingslee. She knows what she is doing.
Doctor Cornelius' voice reminded me and I was at a little more ease with that in mind.
The trees were very dense in the forest for I could feel branches brushing up against me for the whole sprint. I kept my head bent just to be safe. The most humiliating thing I could imagine was myself hitting my head on a thick branch and falling to my capture. I would probably have a permanent bump on my forehead to remind me of my stupidity.
"Rosalie!" Glozelle yelled once more; he was closer," Stop this immediately!"
There was no stopping now. I kept pushing her to go father and father until the trees began to thin out a little more and moonlight broke through to the ground so I could actually see my path.
Well, I soon found out that everything is either a blessing or curse and being able to see was both.
Up ahead, there was a drop off. I assumed there to be a river at the bottom, but the ravine was wide and impassable. My heart dropped for I knew we were caught. There was no way of getting around it.
Kingslee was not having the same skepticism that I was. She kept on running full speed. Kingslee may have been able to jump a gate back at the castle, but that was nothing compared to a gaping ravine! Again, I found myself pulling on her reigns with no success.
"Kingslee!" I yelled at her, but she simply whinnied at me in response," This is ridiculous!"
I thought that she would turn last minute and begin racing alongside the ravine, but that was not the case. She was still going full speed.
"Are you mad?" Glozelle called from behind me.
No, I thought, But my horse definitely is.
I didn't answer him because, quite frankly, I was too busy screaming at my idiotic horse to stop, but there was no way she would. I kept trying and trying until we were once again airborne and I was determined that she was Narnia's first bird horse.
I never stopped screaming and didn't dared look down because I knew what was down there. Death. I didn't want to fall to my death because of some stupid horse. My heart was pounding out of my chest as we seemingly floated through the air. It was a good long flight because the ravine was not skinny by any means.
To my surprise, the hooves met cold, hard earth on the other side and it sent a shiver up my spine. Kingslee slowed down for the first time and I looked back at the men who were stopped at the edge. Glozelle looked at me with wide-eyes and I shrugged my shoulders at him. The funniest part was that Kingslee found it necessary to taunt the other horses by rising to her back legs and whinnying loud so that all of them knew she was the better horse.
I had to laugh and with a final wave to all of the Telmarine soldiers, we were gone.
I had no clue where we were, but surprising I wasn't too worried about it. I was happy to finally be living my dream. I was out of the castle! I had dreamed of doing this my entire life! Every day I would wake up as a little girl and run around the house pretending like I was a brave adventurer and now I could really say that I was on an adventure.
Kingslee kept on going and going for a long time. I had no clue what time it was, but if I were to make a prediction we had to have been riding for a good two hours before she finally slowed down. My eyes had been begging to close for quite some time when she actually stopped.
I climbed off the saddle with stiff legs and gave Kingslee a good pat on the nose. I didn't know what was in that horse, but I didn't care. She was the whole reason I was still out of the castle and not back in my father's clutches. I would have never dreamt that the horse that I would ride for fun with my father through the woods could make ridiculously long jumps to save me from the Telmarines.
Despite all the things that didn't make sense, I ground tied her and grabbed the lantern from the saddle. I lit it up with one of the matches that Cornelius had tucked away on the inside of the lantern. I tucked the others away in my satchel on my shoulder. I noticed that there was a small stream of water a few feet from where Kingslee had parked us for the night so I went over to fill up my canteen and wash off my face.
I then had to find nice firewood for the evening. Although I doubted that I had much night left before the sun rose, it gave me an ease of mind to be able to see even more of what was around me. The search didn't take me too long and I came back to where Kingslee was with a load of firewood to get us through a couple of fires, just to be safe.
After I had piled up the wood properly and thrown some grass into the mix for starter, I grabbed another match from the pack and before my eyes was a spark. There weren't very many in the pack, so I took note that I needed to save them.
The spark grew and grew before grasping onto the wood and becoming a blazing flame. I took my satchel off my shoulder and placed it on the ground. It would be the closest thing to a pillow I would have.
Even though my eyes were drooping and I was tired, I couldn't seem to find sleep when I tried. I tried placing my head on the satchel and closing my eyes, pretending I was back at home, but the rock hard ground and crickets chirping reminded me that I wasn't. After thrashing about for awhile, I sat up to watch the fire.
Looking in to the flames left my mind room to wander and wander it did. I started remembering my first meeting with Caspian at the dinner. The image was very clear of me in my fancy dress and him in his nice dress clothes. We sat there talking about adventures and riding horses all over Narnia. Together.
"Well, here I am," I spoke aloud to myself," Riding around Narnia on a horse. Alone."
I looked over and saw Kingslee leaned up against a tree. She was probably fast asleep. For some reason, she then made me think of Penelope's first time riding a horse. It was on Kingslee that she rode her for the first time on her own. She was maybe nine years old…
She was angry that I was already riding horses by myself and she felt that she needed to include herself into the horse riding club. So when I came in from my ride, she began pulling at my arm to get me to get off.
"Penelope!" I scolded her as I threw my leg off of Kingslee and hopped to the ground," You might frighten Kingslee!"
"I don't care, Rosalie!" she returned," I just want to ride her."
I looked at her for a long hard moment. Normally, when she wanted to ride she would tell me before so that I could take her out with me. It angered me that she wanted to go after I had finished my ride.
"Penelope, I just finished-" I tried, but she cut me off as I started to take off the saddle.
"No!" she stopped my hands from unfastening the saddle," I mean, I want to ride her. Alone. Without you."
My eyes narrowed, was she serious?
"Penelope, you're too young!" I told her and tried to take the saddle off once again.
"No!" she actually slapped my hand that time and I took offense by it.
I folded my arms across my chest," Fine. Ride the horse, but I won't be the one nursing your wounds when you fall or she bucks you off."
She glared at me and I stepped out of her way as she climbed up onto the horse, like a Queen. She almost put me and every other horse rider to shame as she calmly pet Kingslee and kicked her lightly to get her to move. I stepped out of the stall and allowed her to ride out. She shook the reigns and Kingslee left the stables in a full out sprint.
I couldn't find one thing to correct her on. She had watched us so many times that she knew exactly what to do. I watched as Kingslee galloped out of the stables with my young sister on her back and went as far as our boundaries were out to the river and then turned back around and sprinted back.
When she arrived back at the stables, she climbed off the horse and with her head held high pranced back into the stalls. She was the little drama queen in the family. All she wanted was to ride the horse and everyone just assumed that she didn't know how to…we were wrong.
I chuckled to myself as I remembered her. She would be such a bold woman one day. She would probably scare off many of the boys who came chasing after her hand.
Would I ever see her again?
Then that image of her crying came back to my mind and I shoved my head into my hands. My own eyes were soon wet.
I then remembered once again the many sword fights that Jacob and I shared as children. We would run all throughout the house, knocking over all sorts of things. Then as we grew older, those wooden swords turned into real swords and many a time we would actually scrape each other.
My eyes were drenched and tears were flooding down my face.
"What have I done?" I cried aloud as pulled my hair out of it's pony tail," What have you gotten yourself into this time?"
I let the questions linger in the air for a couple of moments as I ran my fingers through my hair.
"Well, it seems a shame that a pretty girl such as yourself should be wasting all of those tears," a small voice in the night said.
I sniffled and looked all around, suddenly alert. Who could possibly be close? I knew I would have heard anyone approaching.
I immediately stood up and drew my dagger, "Identify yourself!" I called out, trying to hide my tears and my shaking.
"Um miss?" the voice said, confused.
I looked all around and above me, holding out my dagger, hoping that my shaking hand wasn't that apparent.
"Ahem," it cleared its throat," Down here, miss."
I felt a pull at my trousers and looked down. The one place I didn't look.
A mouse. A mouse was talking to me. This had to be a dream. My jay dropped open and I let out a screech
"You-you're-you're," I stuttered as I bent down closer to the cute little thing," A mouse?"
The furry little creature wore a ring around its ear with a red plume coming from it. The little thing even wore a sword 'round its waist. How cute! And to think I was scared of it. I tucked away my dagger.
He sighed, apparently disappointed by my reaction," Is that really all the respect you can give me?"
I chuckled," I'm sorry, it's just," I pat him on the head to make sure he was real," I've never seen anything like you."
"Watch the fur!" he cried and drew his sword on me," Now, you seem to be a nice lady, but touch me again and I will be sure you are sorry for it."
I put my hands up in defense," My apologies…" I trailed off for I did not know what to call him," Your name, little talking mouse?"
He looked at me in pure disgust.
I couldn't help myself! A talking mouse with a sword! It sounded like something out of a story book that my mother read to me.
Maybe those Narnian creatures were closer than I thought…or I was just dreaming this entire thing. I was very tired and lacking a good meal.
He rolled his eyes and tucked away his sword," You may call me Reepicheep, but no more of this "little talking mouse" nonsense. If you were not a woman, then I would have already shredded you to pieces."
"You must forgive me, Reepicheep, I will give you the respect you deserve from here on out," I ensured him, just to humor him.
Inside, I was rolling with laughter.
He gave me a nod and then continued to tell me more," I believe that I can allow it this one time, but if it happens again then our blades shall clash."
The picture of me dueling a mouse made me chuckle.
"Are you disrespecting me once again? Let me warn you that I am of very powerful and royal ancestry! My descendants were the ones who gnawed the rope off of the mighty Aslan's ropes that bound him to that dreadful stone table by the cruel White Witch. Do you dare insult me?" he challenged me.
"Wait, what did you say Reepicheep?" I asked, shocked at what he just told me.
He was very annoyed with me, I could tell," Must I repeat myself? My ancestors gnawed the rope off of the great Aslan's paws to allow him to be the true ruler of Narnia once more! Now, I will not repeat myself any more!"
"Aslan?" I asked in disbelief.
"Did I stutter?" he asked me," You must be Telmarine."
"Yes, I am, but-"
" I know this because you Telmarines have such a lack of imagination! You've stayed locked up in those walls for so long that you see anything out of what you consider normal then you go ballistic!" he explained to me as he took a seat in front of the fire and began warming his hands.
I pointed a finger at him" Excuse me, but I did not go ballistic!" I defended.
He laughed" You should have seen your face when you saw my lips move!" he went into a fit of laughter.
He left me flabbergasted. I didn't know how to respond to him so I took a seat beside him," So, maybe I was shocked, but I did not go ballistic," I tried to defend my case once more.
Reepicheep only laughed again," Miss, I do not wish to argue with you over your reaction. Think what you will, but I know what I saw," he paused," On a different note, I haven't the slightest what I am to call you."
I kept my eyes on the fire and answered," My name is Rosalie."
"Ahh, what a lovely name," he told me," Now, excuse my eavesdropping from earlier, but it sounds as though you are far from home, Rosalie. Why did you leave?"
I didn't answer for a moment. Why did he express interest in me? Why couldn't he have just gone on his merry little way and let me sulk in peace.
" Let's leave it at family problems," I mumbled, not wanting to verbalize everything that had happened.
He scoffed at me," There's got to be more of a story to it than that!"
I rolled my eyes. It was nice to have company, I had to admit, but this little guy was being a real pest. I had to lose him somehow, but then again maybe he could be my way to finding Caspian. Somehow. He was my first signal of the Old Narnians being real.
"Fine," I grumbled and the mouse squeaked with joy," But, I 'm giving you the shortened version because I am too tired to tell the extended version. I'm on a mission to find my dear friend Prince Caspian. He is the rightful heir to Telmar, but the Lords, one of them being my father, are not going to give it over without a fight.
"When the King's brother, Miraz, who is also a Lord, had a son, they decided it would be necessary to dispose of Prince Caspian because they did not want him ruling. Lucky for him, his caretaker knew of the birth of the new heir and that he might have to leave so he gathered supplies for him."
"Caspian fled that night with the guards running after him and I watched my best friend disappear in the woods. I was mad at my father so I decided that I would come out here to find Caspian, who is on a journey to find the Old Narnians, gain their support, and overthrow Miraz."
The mouse's jaw dropped after I had explained all of this as quickly as possible.
"How heart wrenching!" the mouse cried as he rolled over again, apparently touched by my story," A rebellious daughter runs off into the night to save her true love-"
Before he could go any father, I cut him off. He got one false message out of my story and I wanted to make sure it was cleared up.
"Let's get one thing straight, Reepicheep," I began, pointing a finger at him once more," Prince Caspian is not my true love. You can dispose of that idea right away."
He rolled on the ground laughing for several moments and I was almost tempted to crush the little mouse with my bare hands. As he sat up, he wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes," Oh my," he was interrupted by another fit of laughter," You are a funny creature, Rosalie."
I was very irritated with the mouse," What are you laughing at?" I barked.
He wiped his tears away once more before finally settling down," If you say that he is not your true love, then I guess he is not, but I am free to think whatever I like, miss."
I shook my head, realizing that I would never be able to get the little mouse to see it through my eyes.
"I have enjoyed your company very much, Reepicheep, but I must try to get some more rest. I have a big journey ahead of me and I must get some shut eye," I told him as I laid my head back down on my satchel and turned on my side.
Perhaps, that would be the end of my encounter with the mouse. At that point, I could have cared less if he could have helped me, I would have rather just gone out on my own from there.
The little mouse jumped up," Miss, please before you go to sleep," he started and scurried in front of my face," Would you mind if I stayed here with you to act as a guard? I would never be able to let myself go on in life knowing that I left a poor, innocent girl alone in the woods. Even if you are a…Telmarine," he spat out the last word as if it were a poison.
I shut my eyes and contemplated. He was too cute when he begged and I couldn't stand to look at him begging like that. After letting out a groan, I finally nodded my head, silently. He gave me a very cordial bow," Thank you,miss! You will not regret it for I will be the best protector you have seen!"
I could not believe that I had just allowed this little talking mouse to be my "protector".
My sleep was shorter than I would have liked. It felt as though I shut my eyes and opened them five minutes later. I knew this was not true though because I was awakened when the sun had risen in the sky and Reepicheep was jumping up and down on my side.
"Rosalie! Miss Rosalie! You must get up!" he was yapping as I drowsily opened my eyes. I had a horrible crick in my neck and my back was rather sore from sleeping on such hard grounds. I found out quickly that I took my four poster bed back home for granted.
"What?" I groggily asked when I rubbed my eyes and sat up," Reepicheep, get off!"
He scampered off my side and took hold of my hand, pulling me up from the ground. For such a little guy, he had ridiculously large amount of strength. I almost stumbled over for I was still partially asleep. I grabbed my satchel from the ground and forced myself awake, even as much as I detested morning.
"Rosalie, mount your steed!" he ordered me to do after dragging me over to Kingslee who was neighing out of control.
I quickly climbed on the saddle and Reepicheep grabbed the canteen off my saddle and dumped the water all over the lingering embers.
"Those disgusting creatures! How dare they come here!" he was mumbling to himself.
Tired of the hustling, I finally demanded," Reepicheep, what's going on? Tell me now. Who?"
He crawled up on the horse and kicked Kingslee to go," Ya!" he called.
"Reepicheep!" I demanded once more, holding on as Kingslee sprinted off.
"It's the Telmarines! They must have found a way to get a troop over the river!" he explained hastily.
"But that's impossi-" I cut myself off because after we crossed over the ridge I saw a troop of Telmarine guards marching forward, their backs to us.
"How did they-?" I was cut off by Reepicheep this time.
"They came through this morning and using this brilliant horse of yours along with my quick, thinking I was able to distract them away from you in your deep slumber," he rattled off to me as Kingslee slowed down," Now, let me handle the rest."
I wanted to ask him more, but before I could he was scurrying off the horse and flying through the tall grass in the woods.
Something far up ahead must have attracted the troops, for they began sprinting away from us. Curious to know what was going on, I gently tapped Kingslee to move forward. She did obediently, for once, and I saw that they were chasing someone. They began firing off arrows at this someone, but I could not identify who it was. My mind teased me that maybe, just maybe, it would be Caspian, but I tried not to get my hopes up.
This person was going to be killed soon if someone didn't do something. Reepicheep was no where to be seen so I tried to push Kingslee to sprint forward. I had never killed a man before, but I could at least injure them to where this person, whoever it was, could get away safely.
The one time I needed Kingslee to go, she stayed put.
"C'mon! The one time I want you to go you feel like taking a break? C'mon girl!" I pleaded with her, but she didn't move an inch.
I decided to throw my leg over to get off and go on foot since my stubborn horse was no cooperating, but as soon as I did she sped up and began galloping.
"Kingslee!" I screamed, throwing my foot back over.
I looked up ahead and saw the grass moving. The person up ahead, running from the Telmarines, seemed to stop for a moment to turn around and pick up some animal. Kingslee actually sped up a little bit so I could scrutinize the person further.
I couldn't tell anything because he turned around too quickly, but to my surprise the Telmarines began dropping left and right in the moving grass. We kept our distance far enough behind that they couldn't hear us, but I wanted so badly to see if it really was Caspian who was running away.
The soldiers continued to fall left and right. It left me feeling awestruck at first, but I then remembered that it could be only one thing doing this to them: Reepicheep.
I laughed that it took me so long to figure it out and then after the last guard dropped, Kingslee raced forward to catch up with the little mouse. I thought that he would stop after the last soldier and come back, but to my surprise the mouse was tackling the runaway.
"Choose your last words carefully, Telmarine!" the proud little mouse called and as we came racing through the woods.
"Reepicheep! Stop!" I yelled as we came closer.
When we arrived, I saw Reepicheep standing on Prince Caspian's chest waving his sword in his face.
"You are a mouse," I heard Caspian say, baffled at the tiny mouse about to strike him.
Kingslee came to a stop and I climbed off, " Reepicheep!"
Reepicheep obviously was not listening, as he was about to swipe off Caspian's face, so I drew my own sword on him and pointed it at him," This is Prince Caspian, the one whom I told you about."
The mouse's face looked much more relieved when he meet my eyes and put his sword away," No need for that," he told me, nodding at my sword.
"Rosalie?" Caspian asked, still in shock," Is it really you?"
I offered him my hand to help him up and embraced him tight," Of course, it is! Who else would run all the way out here just to find you?"
"It is you!" he replied with a chuckle in his voice.
"Are you okay? Are you injured? Why did you blow the horn? Do you realize how scared I was?" the questions came blurting out of my mouth so quickly I hardly even knew what I was saying.
"Shh, I'm fine now," he assured me as we broke our embrace," I'll tell you more later."
I could have sworn I heard Reepicheep mumble," True love."
I wanted to hit him, but I refrained myself.
"Reepicheep!" one of the other animals, that had been with Caspian, called.
When I looked over to the source of the voice, it was a badger. I thought that a talking mouse was ridiculous, but a talking badger as well? Preposterous. It looked to me that there was also a dwarf with the badger. I could not be for certain because the only other place I had seen such creatures were in my mother's story book.
"You found them? The Old Narnians?" I asked Caspian quietly as the other two began speaking with Reepicheep.
He looked at me and nodded his head," I believe so."
"Reepicheep, it was he who blew the horn!" the badger yelled at him and Reepicheep's face wore a look of surprise.
The dwarf piped in," But who is she?" he asked nastily, nodding at me.
"This is Lady Rosalie, a companion of the dear Prince," Reepicheep informed them and I gave the two a little bow.
Up over the ridge, I heard the sound of hooves and it was as though the pages of my mother's story book were coming to life. A group of centaurs walked forward and I gasped at the sight of them.
"They..they are real," I mumbled to myself as the leader of them stepped forward.
They were men on top, strong looking men at that, but on their bottom half they were horses. It was a sight that I could only dream of until that moment.
"If it was he that blew the horn, then let him bring it forward," one of the centaurs spoke in a very deep, slow voice," That is the reason we meet."
Meet… about what? Were there more Old Narnians? I looked at Caspian for some sort of answer.
"Come along, Rosalie," he told me softly as we all began to follow the centaurs to this meeting of some sort.
A/N: Reepicheep is quite possibly my favorite character so I had to include him in there somehow…hehe. Hope you guys enjoyed! The next chapter is when the Pevensies will come along, so keep reading! Things are about to get interesting :)
Thank you to everyone who has reviewed or added this story to their alerts! I appreciate it greatly!